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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Madugalle bows to Australia's appeal

Madugalle bows to Australia's appeal

Last updated on: August 31, 2005 15:23 IST

Following an appeal from Australia, match referee Ranjan Madugalle has pledged to keep an eye on England's use of substitute fielders in the fifth and deciding Ashes Test at The Oval, starting September 8.

Australia have protested against the English fast bowlers strolling off the field and being replaced by better fielders immediately after the completion of their spells.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting was incensed after he was run-out through a direct hit from substitute Gary Pratt.

After his dismissal, Ponting approached the umpire before firing off angry words towards England's fielders. He also appeared to shout up at the home team's balcony, where coach Duncan Fletcher had been sitting.

Ponting was subsequently fined 75 per cent of his match fee for showing dissent, but could be liable for further action if England decide to complain against him after he said the English tactics were an "absolute disgrace".

Ponting said on Australian radio, "I think it is an absolute disgrace the spirit of the game is being treated like that.

"It is within the rules; it's just not within the spirit of the game which we are trying to uphold. [England coach Duncan] Fletcher has known right the way through the summer this is something we haven't been happy with, but it's continued.

"He knows it's something that has got under our skins and I've had enough of it, and I let him know that, and most of his players, too."

Fast bowler Glenn McGrath, who missed the fourth Test due to injury, backed his captain.

"The only time you should go off during a Test match is obviously if you need to go off for an injury or pop off for a quick toilet break - that's it," said McGrath, also on Australian radio.

"As a player myself, I'd keep playing. You would have to drag me off the field."

Though the Australians have been whingeing about it for a while, Ponting's tantrums after being run-out by Pratt may not be justified since the fielder was on for fast bowler Simon Jones.

England announced that Jones had been taken to hospital for treatment on an injured right ankle.

Matthew Hoggard defended his team saying, "Simon was in hospital having an X-ray and we were hardly going to replace him with a fielder who has clown's feet!"

The International Cricket Council announced that it would look into the manner in which teams are using their bench players.